After the restoration, Egypt opens access to the tombs of six pharaohs. This was announced by the Minister of Antiquities of the country Zahi Hawass (Zahi Hawass). We are talking about the tombs of the New Kingdom era (1569-1081 BC), including the grave of General Horemheb, who acquired power at the end of the reign of the Eighteenth Dynasty, as well as the burial of the Maya, who served as the Chief Treasurer under Pharaoh Tutankhamun. Both Maya and Horemheb proved to be key figures in Egyptian politics during one of the most dramatic periods of its history, namely the Amarna era. This was the time when Pharaoh Amenhotep closed the main temples of Egypt in Luxor and moved the capital to the center of the Amenhotep Desert, in the area of the modern settlement of Tel al-Amarna. He also appointed the sun disk Aten as the main god of Egypt, instead of the supreme god Amun, who previously held this post. After the death of Amenhotep, the king’s throne was inherited by the son of Tutankhamun, who decided to restore order in Egypt, first of all returning the religious capital to Luxor, abolishing the rule of Tel al-Amarna, and making Amun again the supreme god of the country. It is clear that all these changes required the participation of both the chief financier and the general.
The Mayan treasurer played a key role in bringing Egypt back to the pre-Amarna era. Not without his help, the king managed to reopen the temples of Luxor, build new religious buildings and altars to the glory of Amun. All this was done in order for the population to feel the head of state’s clear desire to put everything in its place in the country. The powers were divided as follows: Maya was responsible for internal affairs, and Horemheb — for the international position of Egypt. Despite the fact that the Mayan tomb was never completed, tourists today admire the clay brick pylons, on which amazing fragments of the bas-relief flaunt, and the courtyard with images of Maya himself and his wife Merit (she is buried in the same tomb) at the moment receiving offerings.
Other tombs that are also open to tourists:
Tomb of Merneit, who served as butler and clerk in the Temple of Aten during the reign of Amenhotep. Later, Merneit took the post of chief priest of Aten and the Temple of Nita. The grave is made of clay bricks and trimmed around the perimeter with limestone blocks. At the back of the temple are three chapels for offering. The central chapel displays images of metallurgists and the foundations of two small columns, indicating that a brick pyramid may have stood here.
The tomb of Ptachemviya-Ptachemviya, or the «royal cupbearer», is one of those whose «hands are always clean.» He served both Amenhotep and Tutankhamun. His duties included offering food and drinks to the pharaohs. On his grave is inscribed: «Honored by the King.» The tomb is also made of bricks and enclosed in limestone; there are three chapels here. During excavations, 56 coffins from the New Kingdom era were found here. In most of them, archaeologists have found the remains of children’s bodies with traces of past diseases.
Tomb of Tia-Tia — one of the most senior officials under Ramses II, who also served as auditor-auditor of the Treasury. He was married to one of Ramses’ sisters, also named Tia. Tia’s tomb also served as a burial temple dedicated to the god Osiris. Here you can see drawings depicting Tia and his wife at the time of the Hajj in Abydos, where the center of worship of the god Osiris was located.
Pei and his son Raya. Pei himself lived in the era of Tutankhamun and monitored the state of his harem. His tomb includes a chapel overlooking a columnar courtyard with three sacrificial chapels. Pei’s son, Raya, began his career as a soldier, but after his father’s death he inherited his position. Raya added a courtyard and two steles. He also renovated the tomb in which he himself was later buried. In 1928, the stelae were discovered by the Egyptian specialist Karl Richard Lepsius, after which they were transported to the German capital.
According to Hawass, the restoration work involved extensive renovation and architectural work, as well as the return to their original places of a number of artifacts. According to the minister, the ceilings and walls of the graves were covered with plexiglass panels designed to preserve carvings and colors. First of all, it was about the graves of Maya and Tia, which lost their quality due to the colossal flow of tourists rushing to both graves.
He also added that the production department of the Ministry has installed wooden and metal doors here, which should ensure the safety of the graves, as well as stone floors in the passages through which it is possible to quickly and easily approach the burials.
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